Men's Shoe Styles: The 7 Types of Dress Shoes You Need to Know About

Men's Shoe Styles: The 7 Types of Dress Shoes You Need to Know About

Gentlemen, imagine yourself walking into a room and commanding attention with every step you take. Your suit may be perfectly tailored and your shirt crisply pressed, but your dress shoes complete the look and leave a lasting impression. Whether you're headed to a formal event, a business meeting, or a night out, the right type of dress shoes can elevate your style and give you a sense of confidence that's hard to match. But with so many shoe types, materials, and construction methods to choose from, finding the perfect pair can be a daunting task. That's where this guide comes in. In this comprehensive guide to men's dress shoes, we'll answer all your burning questions about the types of shoes and provide you with the knowledge and tips you need to make a perfect choice. So let's take a deep dive into the world of men's dress shoes and discover how you can take your style to the next level.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How much height do men's dress shoes add?

Men's dress shoes typically range from 1 to 2 inches in height but can be as high as 3 inches.

How to lace dress shoes for men?

Lacing dress shoes may seem like a small detail, but it can make a big difference in your overall look. Start by threading the laces through the bottom eyelets and then crisscrossing them up the shoe, pulling them snugly but not too tight. Finally, tie a knot or bow at the top and adjust the tension for a comfortable fit.

Types of Men's Dress Shoes

When it comes to dressing sharp, shoes are one of the essential pieces of the puzzle. In Australia, there are several different types of men's dress shoes and men's shoe styles, each with its unique style and features. Let's look at some of the best men's dress shoes to help you make an informed decision.

Oxford Shoes

Oxfords are a classic and timeless style of dress shoe type for men. Characterised by their closed lacing system, which gives them a sleek and elegant appearance, Oxfords typically include high-quality leather. These types of shoes are available in various colours, including black, brown, and burgundy. They're perfect for formal occasions like weddings, job interviews, or black-tie events.

Derby Shoes

Derbys are similar to Oxford shoes in many ways. This shoe type has an open lacing system that gives it a more relaxed and casual appearance. They're still considered dress shoes but tend to be more versatile than the former, and you can wear them with a broader range of outfits, including suits and chinos. The Derby is a popular choice if you're wondering what men's shoes are in style. They're available in various materials, including leather, suede, and canvas.

Monk Strap Shoes

Monk strap shoes are a stylish and sophisticated type of dress shoe featuring a single or double buckle closure instead of laces. They're an excellent option for those who want a more unique and eye-catching look, and you can wear them with formal and semi-formal outfits. These types of shoes are available in various colours and materials, including leather and suede.


Loafers are a slip-on style of dress shoe perfect for those who want a more relaxed and comfortable option. They're made from leather or suede, and you can wear them with formal and casual outfits. Loafers come in various styles, including penny and tassel loafers, and they're available in multiple colours.


These classic men's dress shoes style features decorative perforations or "broguing" along the edges and seams. They're available in various kinds, including wingtips and cap-toe brogues, typically made from high-quality leather. These shoe types are versatile options that you can wear with both formal and casual outfits.

Dress Boots

Dress boots are men's shoes that promise a combination of style and practicality. This suits those who want a dress shoe suitable for colder weather. Dress boots feature leather and a sleek and streamlined design. Choose from styles and shoe types like Chelsea boots and chukka boots, which you can wear with formal and casual outfits.

Wingtip Shoes

Wingtip shoes are a type of dress shoe with a pointed toe and a decorative "W" shape along the edges. They're a stylish and eye-catching option, perfect with formal and casual outfits. Wingtip shoes are typically made from leather and are available in various colours.

No matter your style or preferences, you can choose from a wide variety of men's shoes. Consider the occasion, outfit, and personal taste when choosing, and you'll find a pair you'll love.

Materials for Men's Dress Shoes

When it comes to men's shoe styles, the material used plays a critical role in determining the shoe's appearance, longevity, and overall quality. In Australia, several materials are used for men's dress shoes, each with unique advantages and disadvantages. Here's a closer look at each material.

  • Leather is the most common material used for men's dress shoes. It's known for its durability, elegance, and versatility. Leather dress shoes are typically made from high-quality full-grain leather, the most durable and breathable type of leather. Leather dress shoes are available in various colours, including black, brown, and burgundy.
  • Suede is a leather type with a soft, fuzzy texture. Suede dress shoes are an excellent option for a more relaxed and casual look. They're typically available in a range of colours, including black, brown, and navy.
  • Patent leather is a type of leather that has a glossy finish. It's a popular choice in men's shoes with suits, particularly during formal occasions, such as weddings or black-tie events. Patent leather dress shoes are typically available in black and occasionally in other colours.
  • Synthetic materials, including faux leather or synthetic fabrics, are a more affordable option for men's dress shoes. They're often used in less formal styles, such as loafers or casual dress shoes. Synthetic dress shoes are typically available in a range of colours and patterns.

Buying tip

When choosing the material for your dress shoes, consider your budget, occasion, and style.

Best Men's Dress Shoes: Construction

Best Men's Dress Shoes: Construction

Interested in durability, comfort and quality for the best men's dress shoes? Construction plays a significant role in these types of men's shoes. Here's a closer look at the different types of shoe construction:

Goodyear welt construction

This is a traditional and time-tested method of shoe construction. It involves stitching a leather strip (the welt) to the shoe's upper and sole, creating a durable and waterproof bond. The space between the welt and the sole is filled with cork, creating a cushioned and comfortable footbed. Goodyear welt construction allows for easy resoling, making it a significant investment in the long term.

Blake construction

Blake construction involves stitching the shoe's upper, insole, and sole together from the inside. This results in a more streamlined and lightweight shoe, but it also means that it's less durable than Goodyear welt construction. Blake construction is popular in casual shoe styles, such as loafers and moccasins.

Blake Rapid construction

Resembles Blake's construction but includes an extra stitching process between the upper, insole, and sole. This results in a more durable shoe than Blake construction.


Hand-sewn construction involves stitching the upper and sole of the shoe together by hand. This method is time-consuming and requires a high level of skill, but it results in a shoe that's incredibly durable, comfortable, and flexible. Hand-sewn construction is often used in high-end and luxury shoe brands.

Types of Shoe Colours

The colour of your dress shoes can significantly impact your outfit's overall look and feel. Here's a closer look at the most popular colours of men's dress shoes:

  • Black shoes are a classic and timeless option suitable for most formal occasions. They're versatile, elegant, and easy to match with most colours and styles of suits.
  • Brown shoes are a more relaxed and casual option for less formal occasions. They're versatile and easy to pair with various colours and styles of suits, from light beige to dark navy. Brown dress shoes are available in shades of light tan, medium brown, and dark chocolate.
  • Burgundy shoes are a unique and stylish colour option that adds a pop of brightness to your outfit. They're suitable for formal and less formal occasions. You can pair it with various suit colours, including navy, grey, and black. Burgundy dress shoes are available in multiple shades, from light burgundy to deep maroon.
  • Tan shoes are a more casual and summery option for less formal occasions. They pair well with light-coloured suits, such as beige, khaki, and light blue. Tan shoe types are available in shades from light beige to dark brown.

Men's dress shoe care and maintenance

Caring for your dress shoes will improve longevity and appearance. Here's a closer look at some tips for shoe care and maintenance:

Clean your shoes regularly

Men, elevate your shoe style with a regular cleanup. Use a soft cloth or brush to remove dirt and debris from your shoes. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials that can damage the leather.

Condition your shoes

A leather conditioner will keep the leather supple, preventing the shoe from drying out or cracking. Apply the conditioner using a soft cloth and buff off any excess.

Protect your shoes from water

Use a water-resistant spray to protect your shoes from water damage. Apply the spray evenly over the entire shoe and allow it to dry completely.

Use shoe trees

And maintain the shape of your shoes and prevent creases from forming. Insert the shoe tree into your shoes after wearing them and keep them in for at least 24 hours.

Rotate your shoes

To give them time to rest and recover between wears. This helps prevent excessive wear and tear and prolongs the life of your shoes.

Polish them

Use high-quality shoe polish to restore the colour and shine of your shoes. Apply the polish evenly using a soft cloth and buff off any excess.

Store your shoes properly

Preferably pick a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and heat. Avoid storing in a damp or humid environment, as this can cause the leather to deteriorate.

Choosing the right dress shoes

Look and feel your best for every occasion. Here are some factors to consider when selecting your dress shoes:

Comfort and fit

Comfort should be your top priority when choosing dress shoes. Ensure they fit well and provide adequate support and cushioning for your feet. Consider arch support, heel height, and width to ensure the shoes are comfortable for extended periods.

Purpose and occasion

Consider the purpose and occasion when choosing dress shoes. If you need dress shoes for work, opt for classic men's shoe styles such as oxfords or derbies. If you're attending a formal event, choose dress shoes that complement your suit and are appropriate for the occasion.

Style and personal preferences

Your style and preferences play a significant role in the types of dress shoes you choose. Consider colour, material, and detailing to ensure the shoes match your style and complement your wardrobe. Feel free to experiment with different styles and colours to find the best.


Quality should also dictate the types of shoes you select. Ensure they last and provide good value for money. Look for shoes made from high-quality materials and constructed using sturdy techniques to withstand wear and tear.


While opting for less expensive options is tempting, investing in a good quality pair of shoes is worth the cost in the long run. High-quality dress shoes are more durable, comfortable, and stylish, making them a better investment than cheaper alternatives.

Shoes for style: How to wear dress shoes

Pairing dress shoes with outfits can be tricky, but creating a cohesive and stylish look is essential. Here are some tips on pairing dress shoes with different types of outfits.

Business attire

Opt for classic dress shoes such as oxfords, derbies, or black or brown leather loafers for business attire. Pair them with a well-tailored navy, charcoal, or black suit and a dress shirt and tie in complementary colours. Avoid shoes with flashy detailing or bright colours, as they can be distracting and inappropriate for the office.

Formal attire

Choose black patent leather dress shoes with a sleek and polished appearance for formal attire. Pair them with a tuxedo or a dark suit, a crisp white dress shirt, and a bow tie or necktie. Avoid wearing brown or burgundy colours.

Casual attire

For casual attire, experiment with different styles and colours of dress shoes. Opt for suede or leather loafers, driving shoes, or chukka boots in brown or tan. Pair them with dark denim jeans or chinos and a casual or polo shirt. Avoid wearing dress shoes with shorts or athletic wear, as they are inappropriate for casual occasions.

Remember, the types of men's shoes you pick should complement your outfit and create a cohesive and stylish look. Consider the occasion, the formality of the event, and your style when selecting your shoes. Don't be afraid to experiment with different styles and colours to find what works best for you. You can make a confident and stylish statement with the right dress shoes and attire.

Tips for wearing men's dress shoes

There are specific tips and etiquette to remember when it comes to shoe types and wearing them. Here are some tips to help you wear your dress shoes confidently and in style.

Breaking in new shoes

New dress shoes can be uncomfortable and cause blisters if you don't break them in. Wear them around the house or for short outings before going to an event or all day at work. We also recommend using a shoe horn to prevent damage to the back of the shoe and consider using insoles for added comfort.

Avoiding common mistakes

Some common mistakes men make when wearing dress shoes that can detract from their overall style. Avoid wearing too short or long socks, as they can create an unbalanced look. Also, ensure your shoes are polished and clean and avoid scuffed or worn-out shoes. Your shoe style should be appropriate for your occasion and outfit.

Proper etiquette for shoes

There are specific rules to remember when wearing dress shoes.

  • When sitting, avoid crossing your legs, as it can damage the back of the shoe.
  • Avoid wearing the same pair of dress shoes two days in a row. This allows the leather to breathe and avoids odour buildup.
  • Lastly, always match your belt to your shoes in colour and style.

The best types of men's shoes

Choosing the right pair of dress shoes can make all the difference in your overall look and style. Whether heading to a formal event or dressing up for work, the right dress shoes can complete your outfit and elevate your fashion game. By considering factors like comfort, occasion, style, and colour, you can find the perfect pair of dress shoes that reflects your style and taste. And for more fashion tips and guides, like a semi-formal vs formal dress code for men, remember to check out our Fashion Hub, where you can find everything you need about fashion and style. With the proper knowledge and effort, you can put your best foot forward and make a stylish impression.